Recent Posts

5 Steps To Help You Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/20/2018 (Permalink)

As a business owner in Puyallup, WA, you need to be prepared for any type of event. Disasters can strike your commercial building, which is why a contingency plan is important. If you want to prepare your company for a fire, you may want to take these steps.

1. Use safety devices. Putting up smoke alarms can help make people aware of a fire sooner. You can also have fire extinguishers in areas prone to fires, such as kitchens, laboratories and areas with a lot of electronics.
2. Make an evacuation plan. As the building owner, you need to help people find their way out in the time of a crisis. You can put up signs of your building’s layout with evacuation routes marked to make it easier for people to find their way out. Try to have more than one exit option to reduce congestion and give people more options if a fire is blocking a path.
3. Set a meeting point. Not only do people have to get out of the building, but they also have to find a safe place to meet. It needs to be far enough away from the building that the fire won't affect it. Make sure the meeting spot is not in a dangerous or busy area.
4. Know who to call. Part of your contingency plan may be figuring out what you would do after a fire rips through your building. Finding a commercial fire cleanup professional you trust can make the restoration process easier.
5. Make plans for your business. Not only is your building affected by a fire, but so is the day-to-day operations of your business. Do you want to give your employees time off until the building repairs are finished? Will you want to rent a temporary workspace to continue working? Your after-fire plans depend on your business.

Creating a contingency plan for your business can help you stay afloat after a devastating fire. You may need to create other plans for different emergencies.

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Things You Didn’t Know About Black Mold

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

The sight of black mold can incite dread, but how much do you know about this pervasive home pest? Also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, this mold can wreak havoc on a Puyallup, WA, home. To help deal with it, learn more facts about this frustrating infestation and a few pointers for mold remediation.

Where There’s Water, There’s Mold

You’re more likely to find black mold infestations where you have standing or saturated water. This mold requires moisture to thrive and grow, so any places where you have a leak or other indoor moisture and condensation issue are ripe grounds for mold growth. To keep your home as mold-free as possible, keep your home as dry as possible. If you’re not certain whether you have mold, follow the source of any musty odors or try a home testing kit.

It Feeds on Organic Materials

Mold can’t replicate on inorganic materials such as stone or plastic, so why do you see it growing on stone walls or underneath linoleum tile? It’s the organic materials associated with these surfaces that provide fertile breeding grounds. Mold can feed on many materials:

• Drywall
• Floor and tile glue
• Curtains
• Upholstery
• Paint
• Wood

Numerous other surfaces can be vulnerable, not to mention any food or plants left exposed in an area riddled with black mold spores. Dispose of any mold-infested organic matter immediately before the spores have a chance to spread.

It’s All Around You

When you undertake mold cleanup, your first goal may be to completely eradicate the spores from your location. Unfortunately, that’s impossible. Mold spores are persistent in almost any environment and constantly surround you. The best you can do for mold remediation is to deprive these mold spores of the moisture they need to grow into a full-on mold infestation. You may need to consult a professional on mold removal and prevention, but your best bet is to always remain vigilant and remove the conditions that lead to mold growth.

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Grease Fires: Fast and Dangerous

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

It’s no surprise that most home fires start in the kitchen. But did you know that most kitchen fires are grease fires? It’s true. Cooking with oil and fat adds an extra element of risk to home cooking. Fortunately, a few simple precautions can help you avoid grease fires in your kitchen.

How to Stop Grease Fires Before They Start

1) Keep cooking surfaces clean. Wipe grease off the stove and countertops and clean the oven regularly.
2) Pay attention to temperature directions in recipes and on packages. Fats and oils with low smoking points, like butter and sesame oil, should never be used with high heat. Others, like peanut oil and extra virgin olive oil, can tolerate much higher temperatures.
3) Never leave cooking food unattended. Fats and oils can ignite quickly. If you see smoke rising from the pan or detect a sharp, smoky smell, turn down the heat or remove the pan from the stove immediately.

What to Do If A Fire Breaks Out

1) DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FLAMES. This will cause the grease to splatter, spreading out fire and making it more difficult to extinguish.
2) If possible, smother the fire using a metal lid or pan. Do not use glass, as it may shatter. Turn off the heat and leave the cover on until it is cool.
3) Alternatively, pour baking soda or salt on the fire to extinguish the flames. Do not use other cooking products like flour, sugar or cornstarch, as these may make things worse.
4) Point a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher at the fire and spray until flames are gone.

Once the grease fire has been extinguished, assess the damage and begin fire cleanup. Contact the Puyallup, WA fire department or the National Fire Protection Association for more information about keeping your home and family safe from fire.

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3 Common Questions About Mold Growth

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to mold growth in Puyallup, WA, it can be difficult to know what exactly you’re dealing with and how to deal with it. Below are three common questions people face when facing mold problems.

1. What Is Mold?

Simply put, mold is fungus. There are many types of mold, and they exist everywhere. When it comes to the mold that is bad for you, its technical name is stachybotrys chartarum, which is commonly referred to as black mold. The spores of mold are microscopic, so you won’t always have visual evidence of the presence of mold. Mold will generally have a musty smell, which can help you become aware of its presence.

2. What Makes Mold Grow?

Generally, mold grows because of moisture. High humidity can exacerbate mold problems, helping it form in as little as 48 hours. Not only does moisture come from high humidity, but it can also come from water damage, such as leaky pipes or roofs or condensation. Also, mold growth is encouraged in dark, warm environments.

3. What Is the Difference between Regular Mold and Problematic Mold?

The presence of most mold is usually visible to the naked eye. Mildew, a type of mold that isn’t as problematic and can be cleaned away, is usually gray or white. However, problematic mold is usually black or green with a “fuzzy” texture. However, even if only one of these types of mold appears to be present, it’s possible that the other is present as well, since they can go hand in hand.

Even if you have a good understanding of mold growth, it can still be a good idea to contact a professional and let them deal with remedying the problem. Additionally, stay away from the mold area, turn off air conditioners and fans and do not attempt any sort of cleaning.

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Commercial Plumbing Floods: 3 Immediate Water Mitigation Actions You Can Take

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Plumbing floods at your Puyallup, WA, business can happen without warning. An overflowing toilet, a burst pipe under the kitchen sink in the breakroom and leaking water lines can all create flooding issues throughout your business. While it is wise to call in a professional flood damage and restoration company to handle a pipe burst cleanup, there are several actions you can take to reduce the risk of water damage until help arrives.

1. Turn Off the Water Supply

If you know where your building’s water supply shutoff valves are and they are not in a room affected by flooding, you can stop the flow of incoming water by turning off the water supply. If the flood is being caused by a supply line leaking, turning off the water may prevent further damage to the tubing and connections caused by water pressure. Remember to exercise caution when shutting off the water, as the leaking water may be hot.

2. Evacuate the Area

Before flood techs arrive to deal with a pipe burst cleanup, it is a good idea to clear the area to prevent injury to employees and customers. If the mishap happens during your regular business hours, follow your company’s evacuation plan and have everyone exit the building in an orderly manner. If there is any water near the exits, put up caution signs to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.

3. Seal Rooms if Possible

You may be able to prevent flood seepage and reduce the need for water cleanup by sealing the doors to flooded rooms. For example, if the flood occurred in an employee bathroom, you can shut the entrance firmly and then block the door’s bottom with absorbent towels. While this may not stop the flooding completely, it may reduce how far it spreads.

A plumbing flood inside your Puyallup, WA, commercial building can happen suddenly and require the services of an emergency water damage and restoration company that specializes in pipe burst cleanup. However, acting right away before help arrives can help reduce the risk of financial loss and injury to those in the building.

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3 Steps Flood Technicians May Take To Drain Your Flooded Basement

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

When flooding occurs in Puyallup, WA, it can affect your home in many ways. However, one of the most common results of localized flooding is a flooded basement. While this can be a troubling issue, flood technicians from a storm cleanup and restoration company have the equipment and know-how to remove this water efficiently and safely.

1. Gauging Water Levels

When flood technicians arrive at your home, the first step they might take is to gauge the water level in your flooded basement. This can help them decide how to proceed and what type of equipment they might use to remove the water. For example, if there is more than two feet of water, the techs may need to use submersible sump pumps to drain it away.

2. Grading the Water

Grading the type of water involved in a basement flood can help flood techs set up safety measures before they start draining it. Flood waters are usually graded in three categories, with level one being clean water, as from a burst kitchen pipe. Category two is grey water, which may contain detergents or other cleaning chemicals. Outdoor flood water is usually graded as category three, or black water, as it might contain sewage runoff and other debris. This type of water will usually require the use of safety suits and other precautions that help keep the techs safe.

3. Removal of Trash

Outdoor floods can cause debris, mud and sludge to enter your basement along with the water. Flood techs may use a trash pump to drain away heavy or thick silt, as well as other types of flood waste, before the rest of the water is removed. This type of thorough cleaning can help ensure your basement’s floor is properly restored after a flood.

When your Puyallup, WA, home’s basement floods, it can be a troublesome issue that may cause damage to the room’s walls and floor. However, calling in professional flood technicians and their powerful water remediation equipment can solve the problem with efficiency.

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Knowing Mold's Favorite Areas

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is an important part of our world, but only in certain places – most Puyallup, WA, residents would likely agree with this sentiment. While it can provide many health and environmental benefits, mold can become quite the nuisance when found indoors. Mold damage can be an entirely different story. Check out the following three places where mold is most commonly found in the home.

1. The Basement

If you're proud of your downstairs lair, you are not alone. The basement is the perfect place for sports gatherings, family game nights, and any other leisurely activity, but it can also provide the ideal setup for mold and mildew growth. Any place with oxygen and moisture – which basements often contain – can give mold all the ingredients it needs to spread. Drywall and organic materials can also be particularly susceptible to a fungal infestation.

2. The Attic

It's the place you put all of your forgotten knick-knacks, and it's also the place you likely forget about. In addition to holding your stashed-away belongings, attics can also become home to mold growth. No matter what climate you live in, a leaky roof or extreme temperatures can lay the foundation for mold damage. Most of the time, homeowners discover that faulty ventilation allowed for mold to move right in.

3. The Bathroom

Probably the most notorious for housing mold, bathrooms can easily trap moisture and humidity. Even with a regular cleaning routine, it is easy for mold to move right back in. However, cleaning mold from surfaces such as a tub or sink can be much simpler than, for instance, wallpaper or other permeable materials.

Regardless of the source, finding mold in your own living space can take a considerable amount of time to tackle. By calling on a professional to help, you can speed up this process and have peace of mind that mold damage is no more.

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What To Do When a Pipe Breaks

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Even though a broken pipe may leak clean water that is not contaminated, this leak can still cause water damage and increase the likelihood of mold developing in your home. A plumber can fix a broken pipe or resolve the issues causing bursting pipes, but you will need to handle the secondary damage yourself or contact cleanup experts. A service that provides restoration and cleanup in Puyallup, WA, can limit the severity of secondary damage and help to prevent mold from growing after a leak.

Here are five things you should do as soon as possible after a pipe breaks to limit the extent of the damage:

1. Collect as much leaking water as possible in buckets or other containers that you can regularly dump. If a leak occurs in the ceiling, you should puncture the plaster to prevent water from collecting.
2. Limit the extent of the leak by turning off the flow of water to your house at the main water shutoff valve.
3. Avoid touching electrical fixtures or wiring in an area affected by a leak until you have switched off the power at the main breaker.
4. Call a plumber to fix bursting pipes.
5. Clean up the water damage and allow the area affected by the leak to air dry.

If you are dealing with a broken pipe, limiting the extent of the leak and water damage should be your first priority. Next, you should make sure the leak does not pose a safety hazard to you or others, such as the plumber who comes to fix the broken pipe or identify the cause for bursting pipes. Once the cause of the leak has been identified and repaired, you should make sure the affected area is clean, dry, and well-ventilated to prevent the growth of mold or rely on cleanup experts in Puyallup, WA.

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Tips for Commercial Roof Upkeep

3/16/2018 (Permalink)

You rely on your roof to protect your business, but your roof relies on you to protect it from the hazards of the elements in Puyallup, WA, with proper commercial roof upkeep, maintenance, and repair. You can spring a roof leak just from weathering over time, or from wind damage. Here are just a few tips to keep your roof watertight, intact, and ready to stand up to anything:

* Create a repair plan. Your first step in roof upkeep is to have a repair plan before the first roof leak happens. Don’t get caught off guard. Ensure you have the numbers for your insurance company and repair technicians on hand, and have any materials needed in place to implement a temporary leak stopper until professionals can repair it.

* Inspect after major weather events. Hailstorms, thunderstorms, hurricanes, and windstorms are your most likely culprits for weather damage, but even earthquakes can cause cracks or lost shingles on your roof. After events, conduct a thorough inspection of your rooftops.

* Clean your gutters and storm drains. Keeping your gutters and storm drains clear ensures your roof drains any runoff properly. Without proper drainage, standing water can easily cause long-term damage to your roof.

* Keep trees and other foliage clear. Not only can falling branches damage your roof and cause a roof leak, but branches and vines lashed in the wind can rip off sections of your roof or cause abrasive damage. Avoid this by trimming all foliage and trees to a clearance of a certain distance around your building’s roof.

* Inspect indoors for any tell-tale signs. Sometimes, leaks may not be readily apparent from an outside inspection. Dark spots and water spots on the ceiling, as well as problems with interior systems, may be your warning signs. Conduct periodic inspections to identify any issues early on.

Prevent a problem before it happens by taking proper care of your roof. You can also contract professionals to help check for wind damage and to weatherproof your roof to prevent future costly mishaps.

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How fast do I need to mitigate water damage?

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More SERVPRO of Puyallup/Sumner specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

After 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.